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"WE shall determine who governs this country, and in which way they govern..."

The 2004 Federal Election: Our election platform

1. Our election platform

We're not wanting to promote "our own" platform, but just offer some suggestions. Below is the Ten Point Plan by Rural Australians for Refugees, as well as the Democrats' Immigration Policy.

We do however, want to make some salient points, mainly as a result of the "immediate urgency" in the current policy failures. These points are:

Stop lying to the Australian people

Stop accusing asylum seekers of "forum shopping"

Governments have full Duty-of-Care obligations

Demand an 'Australian Refugee Act'

2. The RAR Ten Point Plan

Rural Australians for Refugees call on the Australian Government to:

  1. Receive all asylum seekers in accordance with our obligations under the UN Convention on Refugees, which Australia signed in 1954. After being assessed, asylum seekers would either be accepted as genuine refugees or deported, according to long-established criteria.

  2. Grant amnesty and permanent residency in Australia to all those asylum seekers currently in detention in Australia and in "Pacific Solution" centres.

  3. Abolish existing holding centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea and abandon any further plans for new off-shore centres including that on Christmas Island.

  4. Stop military intervention against boat people. Using Australia's military against the victims of oppression is totally inappropriate.

  5. Abolish the Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs), and give the right to permanent residence to all those assessed as refugees so that they can rebuild their lives. TPVs leave people in limbo, denying them the possibility of secure settlement in Australia, preventing reunion with spouses and children and denying access to critical services.

  6. Close all detention centres in their present form. Asylum seekers should be held in detention only to establish their identity and for criminal clearance, along the lines of the Swedish model. As in Sweden, children should only be held in detention for a maximum of six days.

  7. Take any detention facilities out of the hands of private enterprise. Such facilities should be publicly accountable and open to scrutiny, rather than be left to the mercy of the profit motive.

  8. Recognise that there is an international humanitarian crisis of huge proportions which Australia cannot ignore, involving the mass migration of refugees and displaced people. Australia should lead an international search for co-operative solutions and support a world-wide increase in aid for refugees.

  9. Promote the establishment of an international conference to review the International Conventions and revise current inadequate procedures for resettlement of refugees.

  10. Recognising how small our current quota of 12,000 refugees per year is, Australia should double the quota to 24,000 per year.

3. The Democrats: Immigration Policy

Australian Democrats - Official Democrats Immigration Policy as balloted 1 July 2001


The Australian Democrats believe in a non-discriminatory immigration program, which gives priority to refugees and family reunion, the total number of which when included with overall population trends will not impede sustainability of the nation's natural resources.


  1. all areas of Australia's immigration law meet our international obligations;

  2. departmental resources will be equitably distributed to ensure equal access to immigration posts;

  3. application fees will be adjusted to take into account variations in national average earnings;

  4. Qualifications will be linked with the right of reciprocity for Australian qualifications and based on careful assessment of education and work experience;

  5. all migrants including refugees will be eligible to the full range of welfare benefits and employment assistance available to other Australians;

  6. all people accepted into Australia as refugees will be granted permanent visas;

  7. non authorised arrivals will not be automatically subject to detention unless there are compelling security or public health reasons for doing so;

  8. incentives will be provided to encourage settlement in regional areas;

  9. settlement services for newly arrived migrants will be adequately resourced to maximise the opportunities for migrants to participate fully in the Australian community;

  10. all refugees and asylum seekers will be provided access to the Australian legal system equal to that of any Australian resident.